Friday, August 29, 2008

Wine tourism in Mexico

Do you want to visit the Baja California Vintners ?

The "Comite de Turismo y Convenciones de Ensenada" offers you this opportunity...

The Mexico Tourism Board offers also details on how to visit these interesting region of wineries in the north of Mexico.

Look at it here

Baja California Tours of San Diego provides a variety of guided Baja winery tours that includes transportation to and from San Diego.

More info here

Touring Mexico's wine country is quite enjoyable and very easy to do. If you find yourself in the San Diego area and have nothing to do for a day or so, consider touring the verdant Guadalupe Valley

Continues here

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wine Tasting Note: L A Cetto Petite Sirah, 2005, Baja California, Mexico

Many moons ago I ran, rather successfully I should add, a little wine merchants for a now defunct chain. One of the first wines I recall that caused a storm - in terms of sales and discussion - was an unknown red from Mexico of all places.
I am sure it won some sort of Best Wine of the Year award at the International Wine Challenge which caused the sudden increase in sales. It was a long time ago, so long in fact I can't remember if the retail price was £3.99 or £4.99 and I fail to remember if it was the Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Sirah bottle that won.

I mention all this as, in a brief hunt for a bottle of Petite Sirah for this months Wine Blogging Wednesday, I found a bottle of that very same Mexican wine in Waitrose. Not the same vintage, of course, and now sporting a more modern label but great to see the wine still kicking around.

Wine Tasting Note: L A Cetto Petite Sirah, 2004, Baja California, Mexico.
Available from Waitrose for £5.49.
One of the deepest coloured reds I have seen - opaque, but young with a vibrant purple rim. Lovely perfumed edge to the aroma. Palate is big, flavoursome and ripe. An interesting rustic edge leeds the finish with an inky, dry, well rounded. Needs some substantial foods. Alcohol 14.5%.

The evolution of Mexican wine—Wine tasting, hacienda style

By David Ramirez,

When man makes war, he attempts to assassinate the universe; when he makes wine, he steals a kiss from the Earth.

¿Que culpa tengo yo, que me gusta el vino?

Is it my fault that I like wine?–from a Mexican song.

Eleven years ago, when I wrote the first guide to Mexican table wines, Mexican Vinos for Gringos, I could find only eight wineries in Baja on which to report. The current brochure on the subject lists 19, more than existed in the whole country at the time.

Rather than drive our cars to the wine tasting at Hacienda Las Trancas, some 14kms on the other side of Dolores, we were encouraged to take the luxury buses from SMA, a wise suggestion in view of the profusion of wines that were to be offered to us.

A restored antique car of about 1920 vintage greeted us as we stepped off the bus in front of the restored hacienda, a bit more mod in appearance than those we use on the house and garden tour. Our tickets were quickly checked, and we were ushered inside the large square interior plaza.

The presentations of the wineries were arrayed one after the other along the sides of the plaza, ready to dispense liquid poetry from the vine. I decided that my plan would be to try the whites first, then the reds, and go back to those I missed, as my capacity allowed. On this report I will group the wines of each winery together.

The first displayed was that of the largest Mexican winery, L.A. Cetto (LA being for Luis Alberto, the name of the principal owner), whose wines I know quite well. I started with the owner’s reserve, quite a well-balanced Chardonnay for about 250 pesos and much better than their popularly priced Chad at 75 pesos, hardly recognizable as such. Perhaps their best reasonably priced wine is Fumé Blanc at 75 pesos. This name was invented by Robert Mondavi, of Napa Valley fame, to indicate a lightly oaked Sauvignon Blanc, although many wines currently labeled as Fumé Blanc have never seen the inside of an oak barrel. Many wine buffs think that the best value in a Mexican red wine is Cetto’s Nebbiolo at 150 pesos. This is the grape from which Barolo and Barbaresco, the prestigious Italian wines, are made. Their Petite Sirah (73 pesos), which won an important international prize, is also notable.

Continues here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where to buy Mexican wines

Where can you buy Mexican wine in Mexico and in the US ? How to buy these wines on the Internet ? Look hereafter for interesting addresses:

1. Wines from Casa de Piedra

Buy through the Internet here:

2. Winery Monte Xanic

Buy through the Internet here:

3.Wines from the winery Chateau Camou

Here you can find them:

What a variety of Mexican wine clubs

Wish to receive monthly suggestions about Mexican and international wines ?
Are you looking for training opportunities about wines and wineries ?
Want to join wine tasting events ?

Discover all the wine clubs in Mexico

Here are the contact addresses,Phone or Fax, E-mail and Website of :

-Academia Mexicana del vino
-Cava Club (La Europea)
-Club del Vino
-Club del Gourmet
-Club Vinaterra
-Escuela de Gastronomia
-Grupo Enologico Mexicano
-Se de Vino
-Sociedad Mexicana de Vinos y Licores de Guadelajara
-Tierra de vinos
-Vinoteca (Vino Club)
-Vino y Club

The complete list is available on the following pdf file

Feel free to download it here

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nice surprises about Mexican wines

Also, here is a first. Yes, I know about some of the great beer that comes out of Mexico as well as the fabulous food, but wine? I guess just about everybody is growing and stomping grapes these days.

From Fine wine tasting awaits just across the border: Ten years ago, the Valle de Guadalupe began to sprout vines full of grapes, transforming into the wine-producing region it is today. Wine has become the staple of the valley, and because of the expanding viniculture, restaurants and innkeepers have claimed their stakes right alongside the wine producers. With the development, the quality of the Mexican wines has risen.

"The wines are comparable to the Napa Valley or the regions of France," said Jens Nielsen, my foreign guest. "They are very fine wines."

What has drawn steady-but-not-overwhelming crowds to the region for the past few years has been an exquisite mix of fine dining and award-winning wines, without the notoriety of other regions. Even on Sundays, restaurants with gourmet menus accompanied by wines from the Valle sit half full with excellent service standing by. A day trip is easily feasible on any day of the week, with most of the wineries offering tastings from morning until mid-afternoon. Many wineries that front the Ruta del Vino (Route 3) are easily found by markings from Scenic Highway 1 along the coast of Ensenada. This scenic, well-paved, two-lane highway snakes through green hills, which become lively in the spring months after moisture is carried from the Pacific Ocean into the valley.

Well, now that I think about the fact the Mexico is right under California, this all makes a lot of sense.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mexican wine country footage

I had the chance to visit 5 wineries last month in the Valley of Guadalupe, which is in Baja California about 70 miles south of San Diego, Cali. A bunch of the family took a weekend cruise down to Ensenada. From Ensenada we took a taxi (20-25 minute drive) up through the valley for some wine tasting adventures. The vineyards we visited this time around were: L.A. Cetto, La Casa De Dona Lupe, Monte Xanic, Liceaga, and Vinisterra.

I've been there several times before, but hitting 5 wineries over about 7 hours was pretty intense (I'm not a spitter). On previous visits I wasn't into wine as much as I am now. I stopped filming after the third winery. Check out the beautiful scenery and random factual tidbits.

Here is the video :

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Visit the Mexican Winefestival in Baja California

Program of Saturday August 9th

at 9:00 am will be WINEMAKERS VISITS II. The winemakers host visitors at their wineries to taste and describe their wines. Held at various wineries. COST: $35 Dlls.

at noon is TAUROVINOMAQUIA. An incredible event of Bullfighting fiesta with the star from the Tauromaquia featuring music, food and house wines, and celebrating the 120th anniversary of santo Tomas Winery. don’t miss this event! Held at the Rancho San Gabriel, San Antonio de las Minas Km. 95 Carr. Ensenada - Tecate. COST: $100 Dlls.

at 1:00 p.m will be II WINE EXHIBITION IN TECATE - Regional wines exhibition, cheese hors d'oeuvres,and artisan bread from Tecate. Held at the “stunning and gourmet deluxe Restaurante Asao, Tecate, B. C. COST: $35 Dlls.

at 4:00 p.m is one event you should not miss! RUSSIAN MEMORIES Russian theme with music, food and wines. Held at Rancho Toros Pintos, San Antonio de Las Minas or Vinicloa Bibayoff Winery. (please no Cold War spies!) COST: $55 Dlls.

at 5:00 p.m. is VINALIA RUSTICA - A Rock, Reggae, food and wine event held at Vinícola Tres Valles, San Antonio de Las Minas. COST: $50 Dlls.

at 7:00p.m. is "PARALELO" held at Vinícola Paralelo, Valle de Guadalupe,near Cetto winery. COST: $80 Dlls.

Program of Sunday August 10th

VELADA ITALIANA EN VILLA MONTEFIORI -Opera concert with Italian cuisine. Held at Vinícola Villa Montefiori, Toros Pintos, EJ. El Porvenir. COST: $100 Dlls.

at 1:00 p.m is ENSENADA SE VISTE DE VINO - This event is about bringing together the wineries and the city in a family party with food of the local restaurants, new and small wineries and some of the traditional wineries, live music for everyone, tasting and conference of some wineries. Held at Av. Ruiz - entrance at 1st and 2nd in Zona Centro. FREE.....

Book about Mexican wines


Preface by Dimitri Tchelistcheff

The first comprehensive book on Mexican wines published in English. Dimitri Tchelistcheff was technical director at Bodegas Santo Tomas, oldest winery in Baja. A historical Prologue is provided by Dr. Enrique Ferro. Each winery is described in an “Essentials” section listing location, contacts, size, production and winemaker. History, winemaker notes and vineyard and fermentation techniques are included along with tasting notes and suggested food matches. Chapters on Wine Terms, Grapes of Baja, Wine Festivals and Events assist the visitor, as well as sections on where to eat, rest and read more about this exciting region; plus how to get there and what to see in the wine producing valleys. Ideal for any wine enthusiast or armchair traveler.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rio Secreto and Mexican wines in Cancun

One new opportunity to experience is Río Secreto, which opened to the public in April 2008. It's a unique glimpse at the crystal clear underground rivers and cenotes (water sinkholes) that dot the Yucatan peninsula. Adventurers explore the river’s path walking through caverns and passageways which are a million years in the making. Another opportunity invites you to amaze your senses at the first wine cellar strictly dedicated to Mexican wines. This summer, more than 3500 bottles of 160 distinct labels will be opened in Xcaret. The cellar was designed to showcase Mexico’s wine history where visitors will have the opportunity to learn about and taste local award winning wines from the country’s vineyards.

Rio Secreto is situated at Playa del Carmen (Cancun)

Mexican wine in San Diego

Have you tried Romesco yet? If you’re a foodie, you owe it to yourself to experience its inventive food, which combines California ingredients with Mediterranean flavors and Baja-style cuisine. A recent special dinner featured a sea-urchin-foam-topped seafood bouillabaisse with a sea-bean and sea-salt biscotti and seared scallops on a fava-bean epazote tamal.

The restaurant is also one of the only places in San Diego to try wines from Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley, the best local wine area that you’re not visiting. 4346 Bonita Road, 619-475-8627.